Asparagus Soup with Roasted Shallots and Morels

Asparagus Soup with Roasted Shallots and Morels

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

1 tsp. finely chopped garlic

2 1/2 T. canola oil

2 pounds asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch lengths

6 C. chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

1/2 C. dried morel or porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)

2 C. hot water

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a large saucepan, combine the onion, garlic and 2 T. of the oil and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook until the asparagus are very tender, about 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, soak the morels in the hot water until softened, about 20 minutes. Swirl to dislodge any grit; drain and chop.

In a pie plate, toss the morels, shallots, remaining 1/2 T. of oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the shallots are softened and lightly browned.  Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup plates, garnish with the mushroom mixture and serve.


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